Thursday, July 16, 2015

That Thing That Went Bump in the Night

"From goulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties, and things that go bump in the night, good Lord, deliver us!"

Most of us have heard the 'things that go bump in the night' portion of the above phrase. If you're not familiar with it you're either too young to know it yet or you've been living in a world without books, movies, television, radio, etc.

With the aid of a sleeping pill, sleep finally arrived last night. To be clear, I didn't necessarily need the sleeping pill, but because I had napped earlier in the day (and because I was using it as a defense against the possibility of those early morning screeching birds) I took one. If you read the piece I posted last night about boredom then you're aware that I avoided, most of the day, reading my issue of Harper's Bazaar or my latest Nook download, Faggots by Larry Kramer. That all changed when I went to bed. Lying there last night, listening to the wind blow beyond the sliding glass door of my bedroom, I took a moment to read a section of Faggots and to peruse the magazine. I got all the way to Emilia Clarke's cover story and felt the drowsy waves of sleep caused by said pill starting to wash over me. Lights out.

If you've ever taken a sleeping pill then you are aware that the sleep can be very deep and dreamless. A sleeping pill can also cause ridiculously interesting dreams, often times, for me at least, of a sexual nature. I find that my most bizarre sleeping pill induced dreams come just before I wake in the morning. Then there are the times when for no reason whatsoever the sleeping pill fails to keep me asleep. That's the main reason I take a sleeping pill, to help me stay asleep. Especially if things are on my mind. The pill just helps me shut everything down, turn off my mind, and stay asleep so that I'm well rested when I wake the next morning and start the process of over-thinking, worrying, stressing out, or whatever, the next day.

Occasionally I experience that odd occurrence of waking in the middle of the night. Stuck between worlds--as if awake in a dream--my head heavy; my eyes not wanting to open; my senses alert but feeling obscured by the fog of lingering lethargy; suspended. That happened to me last night. It was the literal sound of something going bump in the night that woke me. I couldn't figure out what it was. I became alert enough to remember I had locked the main door to the cottage, but I was also aware enough to know that the sliding glass door was open. I love sleeping with that sliding glass door open. There are times when I can actually hear the waves as I'm falling into the chasm of sleep. Last night the waves were obscured by the wind, but even that sound was a lullaby. So to be awakened like the Kraken from the depths of slumber can be disheartening especially if you're alone; especially when you don't know what the sound is; especially when you remember the door is open.

It sounded like a barrel or tub of some sort being knocked against something. To be honest the half awake portion of my brain kept trying to convince me that the wind was probably blowing a trashcan against the side of someone's deck or a tree. That part of my brain tried to calm me down, but to little effect on my overly thumping heart every time the bump would sound in the darkness. The only thing that allowed me to calm down and fall back to sleep was to get up from my bed and shut then lock the sliding glass door. Something the irrational, half asleep part of my brain convinced me I had to do.

Barricaded behind my locked doors I was quickly able to fall back to sleep. I needed only appease my unconscious mind, that was fighting against my conscious mind, in the battle of better safe than sorry, in respect to the safety of locked doors.

When I woke this morning the events of the previous night flooded back to me. I rolled my eyes at my inability to control my fear. Because the door was closed I was neither greeted by the waves, the wind, or the chirping birds. Thankfully, I was greeted by sunlight, which after yesterday's gray sky made for a beautiful change.

Now if only the thing that went bump in the night would go bump in the day so that I could figure out what it was.